Riders at the ready

A Ride in Memorial

On Wednesday evening, May 19th, cyclist gathered in Green Square Park for the second annual Ride of Silence. This is a ride that commemorates those cyclists that have died on the roadways this and the following years. This being the second year, event organizer David Glandon had hoped to double the amount of cyclist who participate over last year’s 33 bicyclists. With the help of the Bicycle Ambassadors and the various cycling clubs along with the internet, the word spread netting officially 77 cyclists to the ride.
“I was blown away. It was an amazing sight to see this large group of cyclist riding down 3rd avenue in memory of bicyclist who has died not only this year, but in years past. Whether they knew the bicyclist who had died or not, that did not stop them from riding. This made the event more of a powerful statement to the fellowship of the cyclist.” stated David Glandon
Among those in attendance was Amanda Vanous who lost her mother, Penny Vanous, on August 31 2008 when a motorist struck the bicycles that Penny and Donald were riding. Donald had survived but since the accident has not rode a bike again. As her family watched, Amanda spoke to the crowd. She talked of being safe while you ride and to urge Iowa lawmakers to past tougher laws in order to make friendlier place to ride.
One cyclist said,” When you hear a story like theirs and the effect it had on them, it really helps put in perspective this ride and what it means to those who have lost loved ones.”
This Ride of Silence is one of many that happened throughout the county. The first Ride of Silence was started in 2003 White Rock Lake in Dallas where 1,000 riders participated. Through word of mouth and the internet the ride has grown to all 50 state, 7 continents, and 22 countries all riding at the same time. This year it landed on Wednesday May 19th at 7 pm local time and will happen again next year on a Wednesday in the middle of National Bike to Work Week.
“My hope next year is that we double the amount of riders but have fewer cyclist injured or killed while on the road. I guess that will be up to both the motorist and cyclist respecting each other and the law to determine that.” said David Glandon.

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